I have heard something about a walking school bus – what is it?

In 1992, Australian author, David Engwicht, introduced the ‘Walking Bus’ concept as a solution to the vicious school traffic cycle whereby parents drive their children to school because it is too dangerous for them to walk, increasing traffic, and forcing other parents to drive because it is now deemed too dangerous for their children to walk.

The Walking School Bus is a group of children who walk to school together. Parents or older students agree to be “walking leaders” and the group walks to school together, similar to a “carpool”. The group typically follows a specific route and schedule, which has designated “bus stops” that pick up students along the way.

Walking School Buses can be tailored to be as formal or informal as needed by a school. This is a safe, convenient, fun, and healthy way for children to travel to school.

Bicycle Train

A Bicycle Train is the same concept but instead of walking the students and adult(s) travel by bicycle.

Starting a Walking School Bus

There are three steps to starting a Walking School Bus in your community:

  1. Invite families who live nearby to walk
  2. Pick a route to school and do a test walk
  3. Decide how often the group will walk together – have fun!

Learn More About Walking School Buses

For more information, visit the Active & Safe Routes to School – Walking to School Bus page or contact your local Active & Safe Routes to School representative for more information:

Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Kathy Doherty-Masters, Healthy Active Living Consultant
519-578-3660 ext. 2279

Lindsay Ford, Manager of Planning
519-578-3660 ext. 2253

Waterloo Region District School Board

Lauren Agar, Senior Planner
519-570-0003 ext. 4596